A rare Spanish mosque in India

When you get to the old airport in Hyderabad India, you chances are you've seen the minarets of the Spanish mosque, a rare example of Moorish architecture in the city.

Spanish architecture is a type of Islamic architecture in the Iberian Peninsula of which Spain is a part. The style is characterized by horseshoe arches, intricate calligraphy and mosaic work.

The Spanish mosque was built by the order of the Paigah Nawab Viqar-ul-Umra Iqbal-ud-Doula after a journey through Spain, in this journey he was very impressed with the architecture that he saw there. The mosque Jama Masjid Iqbal-ud-Doula is also named after him.

The Paigah family was an aristocratic family of the princely state of Hyderabad, founded by a soldier named Abul Fateh Khan Tegh Jung Bahadur. He was designated to protect the second Nizam of Hyderabad and got the title because he a Paigah army led those Paigah was called. Paigah also means "the right hand", so it was no surprise that the Nizam gave him this name.

"Shams-ul-Umra" or "the Sun under the noble" was another title that he had. Sons of the Paigah family married traditional princesses of the Nizam family, so they were the most powerful noble of Hyderabad. They were also passionate builders and expressed their stamp on the city in the form of beautiful places and homes.

The Spanish mosque was built by Nawab Viqar-ul-Umra so Iqbal-ud-Doula, he was the grandson of the mother of the third Nizam. Among his contributions to the Paigah heritage in Hyderabad are the Paigah Palace, Vikhar Manzil and the iconic Falaknuma Palace. He commissioned the building of the Spanish mosque in the year 1900. Unfortunately, he died within a few years and the completion of the mosque had to be run by his son.

The mosque stands on one side of a vast courtyard. What the visitors see first is that instead of the spherical domes as in other mosques, the roof of the minarets of this mosque end in slim octagonal towers that are plastered with lime.

Another unusual feature is the lack of a tank was. The prayer room in the mosque is decorated with beautiful Moorish arches and delicate calligraphy. The mosque is now in a pale minte color dyed, but until a few years was located the cream with the roof and in the minarets in shiny gold.

Hyderabad has its share of beautiful mosques. The colossal Mecca Masjid, which is about seven decades after the beginning of its construction is complete. The sublime Toli Masjid, the huge Kulsumpura-Masjid named after a Princess, the Miya Mishk Masjid built by a guard of the Abyssinian in the Golconda army Hayathnagar, the mosque built by an inspiring Royal wife, and so much more.

Although these all are special in their own way, is the most original mosque in the city no doubt the Spanish mosque.

muslim traveller